There are two kinds of sushi restaurants – one is the no-frills variety, offering modest quality sushi at modest to expensive prices. The other offers high-quality sushi where the per piece sushi price costs more than a gallon of gas. Fortunately, there are those rare third options – high-quality sushi that still allows you to forgo public transportation to afford the restaurant.

Wokcano just opened their fifth restaurant in the L.A. area, this one in Santa Monica, two blocks from the bustle of Third Street Promenade. It’s a beautiful two-story space with an enclosed outdoor patio, and the vibe is as much nightclub as it is restaurant.

Before the sushi fest, we start with their signature martinis; I suggest the Asian Persuasion, which is sake mixed with lychee juice. It’s slightly sweet and dangerously addictive.

Our meal begins with a twist on a spicy tuna appetizer – Tornado Spicy Tuna Dips, which is spicy tuna with avocado served in a martini glass using … wait for it … nacho cheese Dorito® chips for dipping! It’s a fun and tasty twist and adds a nice crunch to offset the melt-in-your-mouth tuna and velvety smooth avocado.

Out of the 15 signature rolls we went with the Last Night Party Roll, with scallops, crab and lobster in a creamy sauce. We augmented with more traditional sushi fare such as yellowtail, red snapper and salmon. Everything was fresh, plentiful and delicious.

Wokcano also offers Chinese fare, and the black pepper beef mignon, chunks of tender beef stir-fried in a rich pepper sauce, is as good as I’ve had at more traditional Chinese restaurants.

Wokcano has daily half-off happy hour specials both in the early evening and late night (from 10 p.m.-1 a.m.), so you can feed your sushi addiction and have cash left over to feed your car’s addiction as well.

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